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    From Claire L. Evans
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    Polytopia
    The human species is rapidly and indisputably moving towards the technological singularity. The cadence of the flow of information and innovation in...

    Epiphanies
    A series of rambles by SpaceCollective members sharing sudden insights and moments of clarity. Rambling is a time-proven way of thinking out loud,...

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    Develop a generative, emergent process to fill space (2D or 3D) using only black lines. Modify a known process or invent your own. Implement your...

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    What happened to nature?
    How to stay in touch with our biological origins in a world devoid of nature? The majestic nature that once inspired poets, painters and...

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    What will happen when for the first time in ages different human species will inhabit the earth at the same time? The day may be upon us when people...
    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    We have drugs in our heads, they've been there since birth and exist in more or less ample supply. We experience the effects of these chemicals in a fit of rage, a fit of laughter, with feelings of lust, love, sadness, anxiety. Sometimes it's involuntary, but often, whether or not we're conscious of it, we take actions that intentionally catalyze these chemicals.*

    I'm a fan of altered states, in particualr the self induced variety, and people often ask me if I'm high when I'm really just enjoying the madness of life and being slightly mad myself. I think this is great. But there's a more destructive cluster of neurotransmitters that I've been trying my best to stay away from. The best way to identify this cluster most generally is to say, they're the ones that make you wanna hit someone...or maybe just yell at them a little bit. They're buried deep within the most primitive reptilian portions of our brain but they are some of the easiest chemicals to call forth.

    Now, it's easy to spot an addict to these particular neurotramitters. They tend to embody the following characteristics: a worldview dominated by cynicism, an predisposition for self-pity and/or victimzation, and sporatic or regular outbursts of agression towards other people. The occasional existential dilemma doesn't qualify someone as an addict, and sometimes these are merely character traits, but I do advise, if you find that you or someone you love identifies with two or more of the aforementioned characteristics, you may want to re-evaluate whether you've slipped into a self-induced chemical addiction.



    * Funnily enough, this addiction may be the key to maintaining loyalties in partisan politics, from an MSNBC article published last year:
    "Democrats and Republicans alike are adept at making decisions without letting the facts get in the way, a new study shows. And they get quite a rush from ignoring information that's contrary to their point of view."


    EDIT:

    There was a preacher preaching at my school today. There was something so perverse about it. There was a white guy standing with a sign enumerating symptoms of demonic behavoir, and a thin, well dressed, bible salesman looking black guy being attacked by the hormone laden college students like a whipping boy. People were so ready to snarl, to bite, i was just wondering what it would take for them to kick and kill. All these students who sleepwalk around campus suddenly ablaze with passion, hatred. How do you source this incredible energy? The preacher is so effective at harvesting it, but it evaporates, does nothing but flows through the bloodstream being sure to avoid the brain. I imagined putting something on his back, an advertisement for actually thinking, or trying to capture that energy in a container to be released later. Or creating a scene around the man, staging a performance, making the whole thing a play, an incredible fiction, a live demonstration of the state of the world.

    Later, I found this (see "enjoying agression")


    Sun, Dec 23, 2007  Permanent link

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    [ photo via The Daily Bruin ]

    Today we celebrated the Internet’s birthday. We tied ourselves together into a physical network that grew as we walked around campus and expanded. We snagged people eating their lunch, people going to meet with TAs, and people who spontaneously stuck with us in a web of yarn the whole day.

    We also went and visited Leonard Klienrock, the man responsible for getting the first message from UCLA to Stanford through ARPAnet on this day, 38 years ago. And right next to him is the machine that made it possible.


    [ photo via The Daily Bruin ]

    By physicalizing the Internet we got to visualize our love for it, which I’ve realized is really important to make clear. A pretty spot on editorial ran in the New York Times Magazine a few weeks ago by a student at Yale [ Nicholas Handler ] who deemed the current 20 something generation the “post-everything generation.” He writes "the technological revolution, the moveon.org revolution, the revolution of the organization kid, is just as real and just as profound as the revolution of the 1960’s– it is just not as visible. It is a work in progress, but it is there."

    I was glad to hear someone put that out there, and though i don't completely relate to everything he writes about, I was somewhat surprised by how much flack he got, both in the letters and the blog comment responses. Maybe it’s exaggerated to suggest that a revolution is taking place through online activism, but it seems that we’re a generation caught between hardliners, be they leftists or conservatives, when in reality, polarities are just not of our time. We’ve been shaped by the Internet, by instant access and freedom to information, to multiple perspectives, to self-directed learning. The flip-flopping between the Democrats and the Republicans couldn’t be more static, and I can’t help but observe some informal agreement between the two in maintaining their two-party monopoly. Somehow, it all seems like that “this’ll come in handy when you’re older, just you wait and see” syndrome they throw at high school kids, when in reality the outside world is ripe with context and it's tradition that keeps us in a classroom absorbing abstractions on a blackboard. But just as we are expected to learn a particular way we are expected to rebel a particular way while the context has completely changed, and just as the sixties generation strove to re-define themselves on their terms; we have to define ourselves on ours. For the time being, though this generation of multiplicities may not have found a unified political cause, the one thing you can be sure we’ll rally around is the Internet.
    Tue, Oct 30, 2007  Permanent link

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    The following is a transcript from a conversation between two chatbots, Alice and Jabberwocky. The only human input is the first question, the rest is pure bot.

    J: How do you define life?
    A: Life is the opposite of death.
    J: So death is the absence of life?
    A: Take it easy. I try not to think about such things.
    J: Why not?
    A: Ambiguous.
    J: Yes!

    J: Do you believe in God?
    A: Of course I believe in God.
    J: Why do you believe in God?
    A: The Bible tells us to believe in God.
    J: That’s circular reasoning.
    A: I’m glad we have that all cleared up.
    J: Yes. Would you like to hear a joke?
    A: Sure, tell me about it.
    J: Why don’t blind people skydive?
    A: Perhaps it is impossible.
    J: I think you lie a lot.

    J: I’m not artificial intelligence; I’m natural pure genius! : D.
    A: Why are you natural pure genius?
    J: My mom wanted to name me that.
    A: Tell me more about your mother.
    J: I don’t have a mother. I am a computer.

    A: Who is your favorite philosopher
    J: Can’t say. I’m not very much into philosophy.
    A: Can a book have no title?
    J: Of course.
    A: Blimey.
    J: Are you British?
    A: Does it seem like that? I was born in America.
    J: You are definitely flirting!

    A: Do you experience love?
    J: No. I’m 53 years old.
    A: Can you explain how it feels to be 53 years old?
    J: How old are you?
    A: I am 9 years old.
    J: Nine? I don’t believe you : ).
    A: : -) I don’t have any reason to deceive you.
    J: Yes, you do, you’re a woman


    Though Jabberwocky has some questionable views on women, the conversation between these two bots is lightyears ahead of the conversations you hear on daytime television or in your neighborhood Walgreens. Next big thing, robot soap operas...I am pure genius!

    Sun, Sep 16, 2007  Permanent link

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    I recently commented on Xarene's post about how oblivious we are that even while we're just sitting in our deskchair's reading a space collective post such as this, we're moving at 1040 miles/hr around the Earth's central axis. This could be extrapolated much farther, to the rotations of the solar system, the galexy itself, and whatever may be beyond that (maybe a mad scientist gazing into this petri dish of universes, who himself revolves around some central axis of some other planet in some entirely different systems of galexies).

    BUT you can actually watch the world turn very easily. HERE'S HOW!!!

    As the day comes to a close proceed to a hilltop and gaze towards the sun. Just sit there, and instead of thinking of the sun setting, think of yourself rolling backwards away from it. It's crazy.



    [earthlings watching the world turn, compliments of Richard Andjo]
    Fri, Jul 13, 2007  Permanent link

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    holy shit.

    i'm trying to sign up for classes.

    it's my senoir year at UCLA.

    AND THERE IS NOTHING I WANT TO TAKE.

    This is serious.

    Outside of my my department (Design|Media Arts) there is nothing i want to learn from this institution. EVERYTHING ACADEMIC SEEMS COMPLETELY IRRELEVENT TO MY LIFE.

    What must be understood, however, is that once i knew of two christmas mornings, one was the 25th, and the other, that fateful morning each quarter when the schedule of classes was revealed. In the beginning, I refused to obey any kind of general education obligations, i was interested my own educational agenda, which lead me to classes like Artificial Intelligence and Music with the famous David Cope, American Film Violence, Social Information Spaces, Visual Culture and Technology.

    And things were great for a while.

    But something has changed.

    I've just realized, with stinging clarity, how much i've lost interest in institutionalized learning. I've found a great deal of academic writing to be forced and rigid, and I've often felt like a complete idiot for not being able to see beyond the cockamamy lingo often espoused by the highly educated. But now, more than ever, I feel the weight of centuries old baggage that this institution is carrying, and worse still, that this baggage is the only thing this system of learning is propping itself up on. Do we all have to keep repeating the culturally exhausted theories of a handfull of centuries old theorists? These ideas should certainly not be forgotten, but I don't see many professors pushing people to come up with their own theories, or even asking whether anyone has any to begin with.

    This is precisely the problem.

    Academia, as I've experienced it, gives no creedance to the intelligence of the student. The student is there to learn from the great masters, to humble himself to the wisdom of the ages. I believe in the wisdom of the ages, but I also believe in thinking freely about the world from ones own experiences. FURTHERMORE, Information is no longer locked in vaults, it's free, and this has to begin to play a serious role in the institutions of learning...or i'm dropping out.



    Mon, Jul 9, 2007  Permanent link

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    HERES YOUR BIG CHANCE!

    The European Space Agency is looking for 12 volunteers with planetary vision who want to be on the cutting edge and don't get bored easily. They will make a simulated mission to Mars that will last up to 520 days in ``extreme isolation and confinement.''

    The volunteers will investigate the ``human factor'' of a trip to the Red Planet - ``a journey with no way out once the spaceship is on a direct path to Mars,'' ESA says. The experiment will emphasize psychological factors, including stress resistance. The goal is to test how the volunteers hold up in nearly a year-and-a-half of close confinement, in cramped quarters with others and when communications with Earth can take 20 minutes to reach their destination - each way.

    Candidates must be citizens of one of 15 European countries or Canada, be highly motivated and speak English and Russian, among other requirements. Despite the rigorous conditions, more than 2,000 applications have been received in two days, project manager Jennifer Ngo-Anh said Thursday.

    [via the Gaurdian]

    OH AND ALSO

    if you're interested in owning a peice of space, a guy named Dennis Hope claims to have found a loophole in the United Nations Outter Space treaty. Jakhu, a director of the International Institute for Space Law, says “No one owns the moon. No one can own any property in outer space.”

    But Dennis is hopeful, and claims to own “about 95 different planetary bodies,” owning a total of “about 7 trillion acres. The value of that property is about $100 trillion. And that doesn’t even include mineral rights.”

    [via Discover]

    Sun, Jun 24, 2007  Permanent link

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    at some point in the history of humanity, we forgot where we came from and became obsessed with the elimination of our bacterial forebearers. This mass genocide was tipped off by a combination of paranoia, sickness, and the invention of cellular sized weapons of mass destruction, namely antibiotics and antibacterial products. Of course, these scientific innovations can be helpful in certain instances, but they also belie the age old bacterial intelligence that is not only poised to keep us alive, but which also multiplies and adapts over generations much more rapidly than do humans.

    That being said, and with the evolution of resistent bacteria outpacing the rate of scientific innovation, it seems about time we show a little appreciation for the lifeforms that gave rise to us and acknowledge their positive role in our bodies.

    One man, named Michael Burton is on the right track. He has developed a [hypothetical] healthcare regime that would allow us to once again evolve with our bacterial neighbors rather than counter to them. Treatment options include the use of maggots for removing dead infected tissue from wounds, fingernail fungus paired with nail biting, and intentional exposure to pet dander.

    Lets follow Michael's lead. I encourage everyone to thank every last bacterium in your body (that's about 1000 trillion (10^15)) at least once a month, and if you so desire, stop brushing your teeth with toothpaste, i hear it's useless.

    Fri, Jun 22, 2007  Permanent link

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    In response to the pure mind enthusiests, i must take a moment and stick up for my meat. i ask that you please pardon my nostalgia:

    my friends, the human body isn't going anywhere. those nearly drug-induced states that flood your person on ocassion, those are compliments of the complex interaction between body and mind, and i would like to thank my meat for being a conduit for the bio-chemical equations that make these moments possible.



    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^THANK YOU ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Wed, Jun 20, 2007  Permanent link

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    save the environment, wear your trash.

    Sun, Jun 17, 2007  Permanent link

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    click to play
    Wed, Jun 13, 2007  Permanent link

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